It is always important to know what is going on in the world of COPD/Asthma, hence a weekly (at the minimum) posting of ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ – because those of us battling the issue should always be up to date on what is going on, and that includes both the positives and the negatives of the COPD/Asthma life.
Here we share part two of a two-part set, offering a discussion on the ‘Factors Associated with COPD Life Expectancy’.
Special Note – This writer is married and was diagnosed with late Stage 3 COPD three months after surviving a major heart attack. Those two medical incidents have made our marriage stronger in most all areas and more challenging in several others, with intimacy and sex being one of them. How we are doing is personal, but this write has some solid information for those who face the same challengers and fears.
So – here is the third of three-sets discussing ‘9 Points for Better Sex and Intimacy when you have COPD’.
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(This article was found within the expanded world of the internet and was written seven years past with a review by Brunilda Nazario, MD. – we repeated the opening comments before getting into tips seven, eight and nine.)
‘9 Tips for Better Sex and Intimacy when You have COPD’
By Katherine Kam
If you or your partner are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you may be wondering what effect COPD will have on your sexuality. Will sex be possible? Will it be safe? Satisfying?
COPD symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath will almost certainly change the way you and your partner express yourselves sexually. But that doesn’t mean you must bid adieu to sex or other forms of physical intimacy.
Of course, good sex isn’t automatic when COPD is in the picture. To get things right, it’s essential to talk about sex with your partner (or, if you’re single, with prospective partners).
“I tell my patients to approach the subject openly and directly,” says Robert A. (Sandy) Sandhaus, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver and a member of the medical and scientific advisory board of the COPD Foundation. “Starting the conversation is often the most important step — and the biggest hump to get over.”
If you’re uncomfortable with a face-to-face talk, consider communicating with your partner or prospective partner via telephone or letter. Make it clear what you want and expect from sex, ask what your partner wants and expects, and do your best to agree upon the steps you’ll take together to overcome any sexual problems that arise.
Now for Tips 7, 8 and 9 – –
Tip 7: Don’t be Afraid to Experiment!
It’s okay to try different sexual positions to help you find out which ones work best for you and your partner, while also discovering which ones may or may not work with your COPD and/or severe Asthma. In general, positions that put pressure on the chest of a partner with COPD and/or severe Asthma, may be more troublesome than a side-by-side (such as face-to-face or front-to-back) or seated positions.
As Dr. Sandhaus states, “For a man with COPD the missionary position is probably the worst. Maybe it would help to use pillows to prop yourself up or prop up your partner, or maybe it would be better to forgo the bed and have sex in a chair.”
Experts also say to, try different sexual techniques and aids as it’s important for people to try things, even if they were reluctant to try them before because it can be really beneficial to think of different ways of expressing sexuality that they have done or haven’t done in many years.
Tip 8: Take a Break!
If at any point during sex the partner with COPD and/or severe Asthma starts to feel breathless, they should slow down or pause to rest – though there’s no need to strop giving and receiving caresses during the lull in the action.
Keep in mind that it’s normal to experience some shortness of breath during sex according to one expert, as people get concerned about shortness of breath, but shortness of breath during sex is no more dangerous than the shortness of breath they may experience when doing everyday activities.
Tip 9: Remember Your Goal!!
Good sex isn’t just about giving and receiving orgasms. It’s about the intimacy.
“The goal (for COPD patients and their partners) should be to have the most intimate experience that they can manage,” noted Dr. Sandhaus. “Sometimes that means coming to an orgasm and sometimes is does not.”
Sometimes, simply lying together and cuddling are all that someone with COPD and/or severe Asthma can manage and that may be enough to satisfy both partners. As one expert puts it, ‘running your hands through your partner’s hair can be an intimate act.’
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‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ will continue to feature writings from medical folks and caretakers who share insights into the world of what may be going on in the world of COPD/Asthma. ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ can be found at either wheezingaway.com or within the Facebook page, COPD Travels.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)
NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.